All entries for February 2005

February 27, 2005

Musical musings

Follow-up to Sunday Serenade from Andy's Intrigue

Tam O'Shanter's Ride

I did go to listen to the Band playing their test piece in the end. They're playing it well by the sounds of it. Trombones were particularly impressive from where I was sitting, but every section seemed to be doing well. The piece didn't grab me all that much I must admit….it was interesting for a while, but then it seemed to turn into a bit of a generic test piece! Not my cup of tea!

Speaking of cups of tea…

…mmm, yum. Tea is good. Curiously, in the bar after the band performance, Simon mentioned to me the conductor's summer training course that Tim Reynish runs. Food for thought – It would be great experience, though I'm not sure I could afford the time or the travelling expenses. I also take a bizarre sort of satisfaction from being a complete amateur conductor. I think it's called "reverse snobbery" – you know, 100% polyester ties, cheap clothing, magic pencil maths, that sort of thing :-)

But anyway, it's probably time for bed. :-)


Sunday Serenade

The Learning Grid

Well, today hasn't been the most productive day I've ever had. After a substantial delay due to a trip into Cov and a certain rugby match to watch I finally got round to doing some work, and went off to the Learning Grid.

Why the Grid you might ask? Why not stay at home and do some work? Unfortunately, I'm about as productive as a pineapple when I stay at home – and even worse when I'm up north in Edinburgh. So the Grid or the Library it is…

The trouble with the physics degree is that you don't get round to learning anything until the Easter vacation. After 2 hours of reading my Magnetic Properties of Solids notes I'm convinced that I must, despite having collected all the notes, been absent or asleep during most of the lectures. I understand nothing! The speed at which my exams are coming round after easter is getting more worrying by the day – hence the pre-emptive attempt to do revision at weekends :-)

Housemates...

…still no sign of my housemates this weekend. I figure Tom must be away on a Speak-related trip (he is the current President of Speak), and Steve must be visiting his mates in Leamington. James won't be back 'til sometime on Monday. I might even drop in to see the Brass Band performance of Tam O'Shanter's Ride!

The Six Nations...

I never thought I'd see the day when Scotland were ahead of England in any sporting competition. With the possible exceptions of Curling and Golf. Scotland are just singularly bad at sport. Yet here we are, Scotland are off the mark in the Six Nations (although how is beyond me, since they can't score tries), and England lose again, this time to Ireland. Spooky!

Jeez, Chelsea was right when she said this blogging thing was addictive! Oh dear oh dear…


February 26, 2005

The Weekend? Surely Not!

Writing about web page http://www.freeflowuk.com/home/music/musicgenres/brasswoodwind/gramercymusic_gramercyconcertmusicforaspringevening.aspx

It's saturday night...
and I'm at home not knowing what to do with myself. It might be the weekend, but you wouldn't know it to see my house. My housemate James is away in Liverpool, and I haven't seen the other two since…er…well, for quite a while!

Everyone seems quite into this blogging business, so here we are, I thought I'd start mine. Unfortunately, I'm trying to do this on a computer that should have started drawing it's pension years ago and has a tendency to crash when tasked with such challenges as loading MSN messenger or browsing the web. But never mind…

From a music perspective, things are going pretty well from my point of view. The WO concert on monday was a success, I thought – at least I was happy with all my pieces. Symphonic played pretty well to, despite having to do the Short Ride in a Fast Machine beforehand. I wish we'd had a bigger audience, because all the players really deserve better, but it's hard to get the numbers.

We've also finally got round to buying some new music for WO, always something that cheers me up :-) Five new pieces from Faber Music are on their way, including some new Hess (special offer!). But one of my personal projects is "Gaelforce" by Peter Graham, which I'm about to order.

Well actually, I'm going to order it on monday, having misplaced my supply of envelopes somehow :-). But anyway, those of you who enjoyed Cry of the Celts will like…same composer, similar style. What more could you want? But if you don't believe me, you can actually see a live video recording of Gaelforce. It's here…

http://www.freeflowuk.com/home/music/musicgenres/brasswoodwind/gramercymusic_gramercyconcertmusicforaspringevening.aspx

I thoroughly recommend listening to all the pieces on here, especially the Cossack Fire Dance and Windows of the World!

On a completely unrelated issue, for the first time I can remember I'm enjoying the physics lab. We started the Stern-Gerlach experiment on thursday. Sounds wierd right? Yes, but the guys who first did it won a nobel prize for their efforts, so it's pretty cool that we get to reproduce it. Plus it demonstrates one of the fundamental parts of Quantum mechanics – so all in all, quite cool :-)
Though to be honest, what we do in the lab involves taking a pretty complicated piece of apparatus, and pressing "Go". Leave it on overnight, and get the result the next morning. But still… :-)

Anyway, I need a cup of tea.


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